Two men who overpowered a Hawaii Community Correction Center corrections officer Wednesday morning before fleeing the facility have been spotted in the vicinity of Alahelenui Street and Kaumana Drive in Hilo.
The men, Ryan Jeffries-Hamar, 31, and Jarvis Higa, 35, were last seen barefoot and wearing grey sweat pants and white T-shirts, according to the Hawaii Police Department. One or both of them may try to hitchhike to Kona.
The men reportedly escaped the facility’s law library shortly before 10 a.m., said Department of Public Safety Director Ted Sakai. The men are considered dangerous; the public should not approach them. Anyone who sees them is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately.
Jeffries-Hamar, also known as Ryan James Hamar, Ryan James Jeffries, and Ryan Jeffries-Hamar, is described as Caucasian, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 165 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes.
Higa is described as Japanese, 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. He has tattoos on his arms and chest. Higa is facing attempted murder charges in connection with a July shooting incident in Hilo, according to police.
Sakai said the men overpowered and “beat up” the corrections officer before they took the librarian’s car keys. They then kicked a security gate compromising it enough that they were able to slip out. The gates were locked at the time of the incident. No others were in the library.
The building is separate of the main HCCC facility, but within the security fence perimeter, he said. The men were able to climb the fence, enter a parking lot and located the librarian’s vehicle. They then left and the vehicle was later found abandoned.
The facility was immediately placed on lockdown and remained in that status as of noon Wednesday. No others left the facility.
The corrections officer was taken to Hilo Medical Center in serious condition, Sakai said, noting the man did not have life-threatening injuries. The librarian was not injured. Both will receive counseling and appropriate care.
Jeffries-Hamar is one of more than a dozen Big Islanders identified by police to have been involved in a South Kona crime spree earlier this year. He was in custody following a Sept. 8 arrest that netted him an escape charge after he allegedly failed to check in with a work furlough release program.
A check of Higa’s criminal history on the Department of the Attorney General’s Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center shows he has been charged 20 times.